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Gaming Machines In Texas Gas Stations — 14 Comments

  1. Can one pick up a copy of the Meadowbrook Shopper in these convience stores as well ? And if so, which ones ? I really enjoyed that when we lived over there and kind of miss it.

    • I believe we get a small stack here at the building since we publish with them. I’ll double-check that and let you know.

  2. Jon, I enjoy your blog very much. On the current topic, a few years ago I went to a Law Enforcement Training Seminar at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. During a down time I walked onto the gaming floor and looked around. I was curious because I had never been to a casino before. I was struck by the people playing the various games, particularly the slot machines. They seemed to be mostly elderly or disabled. None of the players were smiling or indicated in any they that they were having any “fun.” How sad, I thought.
    You’re right about the house having the advantage. Just look at elaborate decorations and furnishings. Nice job on this article.

    • Thanks Gerry! I too have walked around a casino once just to observe. I saw the same thing you did. There is definitely a habit forming behavior to the slot machines.

  3. The convenience store I frequent does not have these machines but I have recently noticed them in a couple of convenience stores in the area. When I first saw someone sitting at one I had to look again because I didn’t realize what it was (or why someone was willingly hanging out at the gas station). I don’t know if I’m just naive to that environment or what but I was pretty shocked to see that happening so casually and conveniently. I just assumed I was late on the uptake. Interesting post.

    • Thanks Beryl! I also thought it was odd that people would be hanging out in the back portion of a service station…but now we know why.

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  5. Even in the states where the lottery (but not gambling) is legal, you will see huge signs suggesting that participants “play responsibly.”

    Is that possible? When those on a fixed income take money needed for food and shelter to buy those tickets? We know that getting something for nothing without rendering service or exchange of goods is essentially stealing and a form of robbery. How can one do that responsibly?

    • You’re right Beth…gambling would be something that would be pretty hard to do responsibly. It is definitely a tax on those who can’t do math.

  6. I used to be the store manager at a valero. While I worked there the stores machines were taken. I just happened to walk into anot her gas station, and I asked the lady if the machines were illegal. Whicheck I know they are, and she said no as long as they make their donations? What does this mean? I thought gambling was illegal? They are paying out cash to these people! Any insight on how to report them?

    • The donations comment is an interesting one. Who is getting the donation? And what for? The fine in most areas of TX for having these machines is a max of $4K. It costs more than that for the police to gather evidence of illegal gambling. As long as the gaming area keeps things clean and doesn’t have a bunch of trouble like robberies, etc. they will fly below most police radar. The cities need to act to close the loopholes on gaming machines if the state will not. The state actually auctions off siezed machines through the Texas Facilities Commission which blows my mind. Video gambling is illegal in Texas but the machines are not. Payouts over $5 for a single win are illegal as well.

  7. Who can I call about fraud on gas station taken people’s money on gambling machines in texas!

    • Gaming machines in Texas convenience stores are in a grey area of the law. Video gambling is illegal but the machines are not. If I remember the law correctly, a game is considered “amusement” if it pays out less than $5 in a single win or less than 10x the amount it cost to play the game. Fraud on the machines would be challenging since there is not really a regulatory agency for game play.